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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Drought Legacy in Sub-Seasonal Vegetation State and Sensitivity to Climate Over the Northern Hemisphere

Wu, Minchao; Manzoni, Stefano; Vico, Giulia; Bastos, Ana; de Vries, Franciska T.; Messori, Gabriele


Droughts affect ecosystems at multiple time scales, but their sub-seasonal legacy effects on vegetation activity remain unclear. Combining the satellite-based enhanced vegetation index MODIS EVI with a novel location-specific definition of the growing season, we quantify drought impacts on sub-seasonal vegetation activity and the subsequent recovery in the Northern Hemisphere. Drought legacy effects are quantified as changes in post-drought greenness and sensitivity to climate. We find that greenness losses under severe drought are partially compensated by a similar to+5% greening within 2-6 growing-season months following the droughts, both in woody and herbaceous vegetation but at different timings. In addition, post-drought sensitivity of herbaceous vegetation to hydrological conditions increases noticeably at high latitudes compared with the local normal conditions, regardless of the choice of drought time scales. In general, the legacy effects on sensitivity are larger in herbaceous vegetation than in woody vegetation.


drought legacy; sub-seasonal vegetation sensitivity; ecosystem resilience; growing season-based analysis

Published in

Geophysical Research Letters
2022, volume: 49, number: 15, article number: e2022GL098700

Authors' information

Wu, Minchao
Uppsala University
Wu, Minchao
Lund University
Manzoni, Stefano
Stockholm University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Crop Production Ecology
Bastos, Ana
Max Planck Society
de Vries, Franciska T.
University of Amsterdam
Messori, Gabriele
Stockholm University
Messori, Gabriele
Uppsala University

UKÄ Subject classification

Physical Geography

Publication Identifiers


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